Strictly: Johannes Radebe emotional speaking to Claudia
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The Strictly Come Dancing favourite, who has made TV history with his male dancer partner, former Bake Off champion John Whaite, had been in Aberdeen when the incident happened.
Talking in an interview with the Radio Times, he revealed: “They thought I looked like someone suspicious.
I was having a coffee and had a black leather jacket on and a black cap – and that was enough for them to ask me for my ID
“I was having a coffee and had a black leather jacket on and a black cap – and that was enough for them to ask me for my ID and ask me what I was doing in that place.”
He added that this type of incident happens often.
The dark-skinned South African has experienced more than his fair share of possible racism at home too, though – and he claims he’ll never return to living in his country of origin.
“The British are very, very progressive,” he revealed.
“I’m not going back home, for many, many reasons.”
Fortunately, he doesn’t need to, as he has received a warm welcome from many Strictly viewers, with his dances going down a treat.
Most recently, audiences delighted in his and John’s salsa to classic Sister Sledge anthem ‘We Are Family’.
Behind the scenes, there has been less prejudice than the pair expected, as a mixed-race, same-gender dance coupling.
He continued: “We anticipated flak. We anticipated trolling and hate mail. But it’s actually… been kind and generous.”
The professional dancer added: “We’ve had messages saying, ‘I’m proud as a straight mum and straight dad to have my children grow up in a world where two men can dance together’.”
He added that he had occasionally read tweets from those saying that their grandmother gets up and leaves the room every time he arrives onstage.
However, overall, he regards the UK as an accepting place for two 6ft 2in men to get jiving on the dance floor together.
While he’s adamant that he only wants to be judged on his dancing abilities, and not on the sensation his progressive attitude has had caused in society, he acknowledges that appearing as a same-sex couple on mainstream TV has made huge strides for the gay community.
This past weekend, during ‘We Are Family’, a lift attempted by John went wrong, leaving Johannes crashing to the floor.
The pair then had to endure the humiliation of judge Craig beaming: “I love it when things go wrong.”
Meanwhile, Motsi Mabuse reacted with mirth, admitting that the sequence had been “funny” for her.
A shame-faced Johannes claimed afterwards that he’d looked “like a sack of potatoes” during the lift, but John raised a smile with some playful banter, later claiming on Instagram: “When life throws you a sack of spuds, you throw it over your shoulder anyway, then drop it and slap it on the arse.”
This same-sex couple is keeping calm and carrying on, whatever wrong moves they might make – and a largely supportive audience is following their progress as they go.
Read Johannes’ full interview in the new issue of the Radio Times.
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